Some time ago I watched Pretty in Pink again and was less than impressed with it, and the fact that Andie picked Blane. So I picked up a copy of Some Kind of Wonderful as an antidote, seeing as that had the ending I was looking for. But damn it if watching these old films just isn’t the same as when I was younger. Why can’t I keep that feeling I had back then when watching them? Because SKOW is fine, but I wasn’t thrilled by the end, or by much of the rest really. Still, to amuse myself I wrote down my thoughts as I watched, in an attempt at one of those ‘real time’ reviews. What we have here is less a review and more the mad ramblings of someone with too much time on her hands. I also did this about six months ago and then decided it was too dorky to ever be put up on my blog, but you know what? I am dorky, so here ya go. At some point I decided to put the times in, but not for the first ten minutes and I’m too lazy to put the thing back in my DVD player.
We open with a drum solo and a montage of…train tracks, snogging and drums. Huh. Oh ok, we’re establishing that Eric Stoltz is a hard working mechanic who lives on the wrong side of the tracks. He is not scared of trains either, as he nonchalantly walks up to one, scaring the crap out of the driver. Later he looks longingly at Craig Scheffer (Uncle Keith from One Tree Hill. Yes I know he’s been in other stuff. I would refer to him as Uncle Keith here, but sadly Stoltz is Keith in the film, and that could just get confusing.). He wants his car. Or possibly his girlfriend.
Watts, Keith’s tomboy best friend who loves him for some unknown reason, is hitting a drum with a heart on it. Subtle. Keith’s dad is that dude from Beverly Hills Cop. Keith is the first guy in his family to go to college, so there’s no pressure there or anything. Keith wants to go to art school but his dad won’t let him.
Watts is pretty cool. She doesn’t have school books, or study, and she wears a black cap and jacket and is never without her sticks. Keith is a bit of a dork, but he’ll attempt to kick your ass if you call Watts a lesbian. Frankly I think Watts can take care of herself.
And here’s a cut because I go on a fair bit.
There is no way the bad, leather jacket wearing dude (also known as Elias Koteas, heh) is in high school. You may think you’re giving him detention there teacher, but I’m not falling for it.
10.35 (look I finally write it down): Keith pines for Amanda Jones and later sees her boyfriend Not Uncle Keith hitting on another girl. So does Amanda. Did they break up? Does she just not give a shit? Oh, nope, he’s just a douche who talks about trust. Don’t fall for it Amanda, I am sure you can do better, you have your own song and everything. But not Keith, you can do better than him too.
14.00: Keith…salutes Amanda Jones? Salutes her? Someone beat this kid up. He thinks AJ is ‘interesting’. His hot best friend tells him she runs with the rich crowd, so don’t bother.
16.57: Douche alert! Not Uncle Keith calls AJ his property, tells her to mind her own business and gives Keith 10 dollars for looking at her. Any sympathy I had for her (actually, I didn’t have any) just flew out the window. Also, your boyfriend’s name is Hardy. What were you thinking?
18.42: Oh, see, it’s the Amanda Jones song I referenced earlier. Now, did the song exist before the film, or did they write is especially?
19.49: Keith pines. Again. He pulls the fire bell, the rebel. I don’t know what that achieved. Oh wait, he gets to be in detention with AJ, though I don’t recall what she’d done. Also there is Elias Koteas looking menacing and about 30 years old. I expect him and Keith to bond later. But alas! Keith’s plan fails, as AJ uses her feminine charms to do detention elsewhere. Or not at all.
22.34: ‘You’ve never been in love before,’ he says to Watts. OH OPEN YOUR EYES KEITH!!
23.35: Keith and leather dude bond over art. Told ya.
23.59: Gratuitous locker room scene to show girls in tiny pants and make Watts (and the rest of us) feel inferior. I’ve been there love.
24.55: Stop press! Girl wears boy’s underwear!
25.28: Keith starts stalking AJ. AJ fights with Douche. She’s breaking up with him! Thank god.
26.26: Oh how embarrassing, Keith asks AJ out. Watts is devastated. You can tell by the sudden close up.
27.53: Keith’s family eats in a weirdly awkward manner and his sister, who thinks she’s cooler than he is (it wouldn’t be hard) asks about his date. She’s starting to grow on me.
29.37: More art bonding, ‘It’s what my girlfriend would look like without skin.’ Um hmm.
30.20: Watts fakes a date. Did you know, in 1987, a girl could be whatever she wanted to be?
31.30: He’s really going to borrow Watts’ car to take AJ home? LOSER. And then there’s a whole big thing with the car not starting and Douche is watching and argh.
35.40: AJ tries to back out of the date. Fails.
38.05: Douche alert. Is he wearing shoulder pads? He is! He looks like a Ken doll. He asks Keith to a party with AJ. Don’t do it Keith, there are strings Pinocchio!
40.14: 80′s band! Where are we? A club? Oh, Watts hangs out here. Why the hell is Keith here? He’s waiting for AJ, with…scotch? He looks like a maths teacher. Watts is pissed. In the angry sense, not drunk. I think. And almost crying. There’s a deep conversation about their friendship and not spending time together any more. ‘I can’t afford to have you hate me Keith.’ She only cares about herself, her drums, and Keith. I’m assuming not necessarily in that order.
43.13: Douche alert! He stalks AJ into the girls’ locker room. He looks so bizarre. It’s the blonde highlights, I’m sure.
44.54: Keith’s actually-not-cool sister tries to get in good with Douche but it backfires. Later she overhears them talking about their dastardly plan to get Keith. She tells her bro the date is a joke. I think he knew that already, or he’s dumber than I thought.
47.53: Close up of the picture he’s drawn of AJ. And over to Watts with poignant music playing.
49.00: ‘They’re going to pound me.’ Could they not have worded that better? Keith’s making his stand and going to the party.
50.01: Snuggle! Well, Watts and Keith are on the same bed. Apologies all round. Watts pines now.
51.11: AJ’s friends snub her. Well, she is going out with a loser.
52.03: Douche alert! He blows a kiss at AJ. He’s not as good at being evil as James Spader.
52.33: Keith takes all his savings to pay for the date. Where the hell is he taking her? Dad’s gonna kill him.
54.23: Oh he’s buying her jewellery. Wait…why? Just to make her feel shitty?
55.22: Is Watts angling for a snog here? She’s making him worry about his kissing technique. Yep, she totally is, she’s gonna ‘work on it’ with him. Awkward. The passion ramps up a notch and she pushes him off. Keith says it was very nice. Could he be any more patronising?
58.30: Getting ready for the evening montage. Keith’s badass new friends are breaking and entering for him. Watts bought some new gloves.
1.00.11: Dad talk. Where’s your money yo? Or: ‘Where’s the fucking money Keith?’
1.04.56: Watts is his driver! And is wearing a bra, apparently.
1.05.51: AJ is impressed by Keith’s suit and the car. ‘Your ass is too precious for vinyl.’ Is that a compliment?
1.07.01: We have an awkward, expensive meal with them snapping at each other. Excellent date so far. Then Watts snaps at him. Is anyone happy in this film?
1.11.00: ‘Break his heart, I break your face.’ Ah Watts. A vague disclaimer is no one’s friend. Keith takes AJ to an art museum, since leather dude’s dad is the security guard. Because of course.
1.13.03: It’s a painting of AJ! What? How? He just put that up for the night, right? It doesn’t hang there all the time?
1.14.41: AJ and Keith bond over their loneliness. I think she’s living a lie in regards to her friends and status among the rich kids. Then he springs the ‘You used me’ on her, and she fights back with ‘You didn’t use me?’ and calls him a hypocrite. He’s using her to pay back guys who have made him feel like he’s nothing. ‘Call it even.’
1.16.26: He gives her the earrings, ‘My future,’ and tells her it’s every cent he ever earned. How is a girl supposed to feel about that? I’m so confused. He was pissed at her for using him, but he says she’s worth more, she shouldn’t have to borrow earrings. What was he going to do with them if they hadn’t cleared the air? And what self-respecting woman would accept them, especially after he basically says he’s giving them to her cos he feels sorry for her. What with the money exchanging hands just for looking at AJ and now earrings, I’d begin to feel a bit like a prostitute.
1.18.24: Watt’s dies.
1.19.00: Watts refuses to drive to the party so Keith can be beaten up. She drives them anyway.
1.20.27: Douche alert! (This should be a drinking game.)
1.21.05: Did he really just ask ‘Did she do you’? Ooh, FIGHT!
‘Why don’t you take me outside?’
‘I don’t play that way.’
Again with the male on male overtones. Oh, I get it now, Douche wasn’t pissed about AJ breaking up with him, he was pissed she was going out with Keith because he likes Keith!
1.22.14: AJ sacrifices herself to save Keith. Well, there’s begging. Oh don’t beg Amanda. But look, leather dude and his gang show up. Who’s scared now Douche? Ha ha, Douche backs off and Keith hits him hard with a ‘You’re over.’ That’ll show him. Then AJ slaps him. Twice. Not hard enough though.
1.24.31: AJ’s friends like the look of leather dude’s friends.
1.24.58: In the weirdest ‘revelation’ moment ever, Keith starts having flashbacks to kissing Watts. There’s a moment going on, who knows why. AJ looks sad. She gets it. Watts shakes her hand and leaves them alone. AJ has grown as a person and is happy to be alone and not with the wrong man. She gives Keith back the earrings and tells him to go.
1.26.35: Watts is crying and the music swells, but Keith chases her down the street and finally, he gets it. He picks her up and kisses her. Blah blah ‘I didn’t know’ Blah blah. Here, have these second hand earrings. ‘You look good wearing my future.’ And now there’s a weird pan pipes/river dance version of Can’t Help Falling In Love playing us out.
Now, I always wanted Duckie and Andie to get together so I should be thrilled here, but it all happens so quick. It’s one night and he changes his mind. Plus, AJ is no Blane. She’s actually got personality and she didn’t set out to hurt Keith, so you can’t really hate her. There’s not enough of Watts and Keith together as friends to show us how they are, or what they might see in each other. Plus, Keith’s a bit of a drip. There’s not much about him to root for. The whole ‘Will he, won’t he go to college’ thing is a pathetic attempt at conflict that doesn’t really go anywhere.
So sadly this doesn’t fix the Pretty in Pink ending, and yet again doesn’t really hold up to my childhood viewing. I’m thinking Weird Science should be next.